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Celebrating 95 years of publication
On June 28, 1917, seven businessmen—George F Huggins, AH Wight, Albert Cipriani, Edward Pitts, T Geddes Grant, Sir Norman Lamont and LAP O’Reilly—incorporated the Trinidad Publishing Company as a private company, with paid-up capital of $23,000. The newspaper they first produced in September that year, the T&T Guardian, is now celebrating 95 years of continuous publication in Trinidad and Tobago.
The fastidious historian will recall the fire that briefly halted operations at the newspaper in 1980, but even that challenge was made into an opportunity, as it led to significant improvements in the newspaper’s production capacity. The Guardian has evolved over the years from the original black-and-white broadsheet publication that readers will have sampled in facsimile in our Independence Day edition on Friday.
In 1955, the paper published the first radio-transmitted photograph; it introduced colour photos in the 1960s. By 1985, bright, informative colour photography was a regular feature of each publication. The T&T Guardian is now part of Guardian Media, an aggregation of media expression across radio, television, and the Internet, reaching hundreds of thousands of viewers, readers and listeners through traditional channels as well as the expanded reach enabled by technology.
Since its introduction to the public in the early 20th century, the Guardian newspaper has been the standard for credible, accurate reporting of the news of the day. The newspaper has reported on two world wars, the 1970 unrest and the 1990 coup attempt. That record of every aspect of this country’s events and lifestyles has become the underpinning of the historical record of the nation, and has enriched the general understanding of the rapid pace of development over the last century.
Far from slowing down over the years, the newspaper’s leadership has moved to recast and refresh the Guardian’s style, design, content and even size. The T&T Guardian has not only been in the business of recording daily news longest in Trinidad and Tobago, but has also actively demonstrated in tangible ways its commitment to being a positive actor in the community it undertook to chronicle.
The multiyear undertaking to provide sponsorship to Carnival through support of the Road March competition is only the most recent incarnation of an engagement that began with this newspaper’s sponsorship of the first Carnival in the Savannah, the Victory celebrations of 1919.
That awareness of T&T Guardian’s role as both observer of what happens in T&T on a daily basis and as supporter and participant in the development of the nation remains a constant in the newspaper’s operations and planning. Along the way, too, the Guardian has been the publication that offered the early writing of Seepersad Naipaul, Derek Walcott, Earl Lovelace and other literary luminaries to the public and seeded the media that would come to join us over the years with talented professionals.
After 95 years of setting standards in chronicling the news in Trinidad and Tobago, this newspaper’s outlook remains ambitious and engaged with the realities of journalism in 2012. The T&T Guardian is on Facebook and on the street, mixing shoe leather on the beat with technology savvy to constantly refocus its reporting and publishing mix to track the country’s course into the future.
During the nine and a half decades of its publication, the T&T Guardian would have been nothing without its readers. And even though the methods we used have changed over the decades, we have remained focused on providing those readers each day with the most comprehensive, informative news package available. That remains as true today as it was in September 1917. Thank you for sharing this remarkable journey with us.
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